More detail on this person: Donald John
Douglas JR was the first child born on the 4th of
July 1946 in Lakewood, CA, and except for his
military service, he lived in California his whole
life. He thought he had the greatest childhood,
growing up with siblings and cousins and great
aunts and uncles, when coastal California still
was a collage of sleepy beach towns, and life in
post WW2 America was prosperous and promising.
He was looking forward to attending his 50th
Reunion at Savanna High School in Anaheim next
During the Viet Nam War, he joined the Army, serving proudly as a helicopter pilot. Flying Cobra gunships was considered an honor, because these were usually the best pilots. As "Warlord 15" with the 117th Assault Helicopter Company, he qualified, and flew several missions in Cobras, but shortly, their unit reorganized and he was assigned to a Huey UH-1B,( with Annie Fanny on the nose) and immediately knew he was called to be a Rescuer. Returning to the States, he trained other helicopter pilots facing service in Viet Nam, and later flew with the National Guard.
After the Army, he co-owned a recreational vehicle service and supply business with his father in Orange County, did international trade with the People's Republic of China, and owned a small fast food restaurant. But above it all, he was called to serve God. First as an Elder, then as a Pastor, his heart was always inclined toward loving God's flock. His 35 plus years in Men's Ministry meant more to him than his Distinguished Flying Cross, and he was with his men when that big heart betrayed him.
He could fly anything with rotors or propellers (actually, we went gliding together, and that craft had neither), drive anything he could fit those long legs into (he owned 5 fire trucks, but we wouldn't let him have a tank!), fix anything that was broken, teach anyone who would listen.
He loved to fly. Flying was pretty much his only passion, until he met and married Linda. On March 1st, 1975, he said "I do" to not just a bride, but to 3 small children as well. Throughout the years, he considered raising and loving them his greatest joy and proudest achievement, and more recently thrilled at watching his 6 grandchildren grow, knowing they would be his legacy, and just enjoying being "Grandpa."
He leaves his wife of 40 years, Linda, children Tiffany (Shaun) Henderson, Troy (Kate) Farr, and Traci (Michael) Blanton, grandchildren Austin, Emily, Garrett, Rachel, Brooke and Paige, sister Suzann Bowers, brother Greg Douglas, and so many others.
He loved his wife, his family, his friends, his country and his Lord, and faithfully served them all. He was a man of character, of humility, of integrity: a truly good man. He was our hero. He was the best of us. He just left us far too soon.
Burial: Riverside National Cemetery 22495 Van Buren Blvd. Riverside, CA, US, 92518
This information was last updated 07/10/2016
Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters
Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list
Return to VHPA web site
Date posted on this site: 09/21/2017
Copyright © 1998 - 2017 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association